This Guy Stole a $4,000 Flute From a Woman on the MBTA

Transit Police officials are asking for the public's help finding a man they say fled on foot with the expensive instrument.

MBTA Crime

MBTA Transit Police are asking for the public’s help identifying a man they say made off on foot with a Berklee College of Music student’s $4,000 flute.

According to police reports, on the morning of Monday, March 5, a female passenger put down the expensive instrument on a bench at the Park Street station while waiting for a Red Line train on the northbound center platform. Upon boarding the train, the female passenger left the instrument behind by accident. Police say that’s when the suspect, a male, retrieved the instrument from the station bench and boarded the next Red Line train.

Transit Police said:

The owner of the Flute is a 21-year-old student at the Berkelee College of Music. She personally owns the flute and is devastated by this incident. She is on a scholarship, [and] as part of the scholarship agreement she needs the instrument to fulfill her obligations to the school. She also teaches music and requires the use of her flute to do so. The loss of her instrument has significantly effected her personally and she would be grateful to anyone who facilitates its return.

According to police the flute is still missing, and the suspect is on the loose. Transit Police ask that anyone who identifies the individual contact the department’s Criminal Investigation Unit at 617-22-1050.

This isn’t the first time that a forgetful rider’s missing belongings—specifically an instrument— made MBTA headlines. In December of 2011 an Arlington girl misplaced her expensive flute, just days before Christmas, when she left it on the back of a T bus. The silver flute was later returned to the middle school student after she filed a police report with Transit Police and offered up a reward. Users on Twitter helped in the search by generating public attention and Tweeting updates about the missing flute, using the hashtag #FindtheFlute.

Earlier that same year, a woman studying at the New England Conservatory was also briefly separated from her instrument of choice, this time, a $172,000 violin. The woman left the item in an overhead compartment of an interstate bus, but much like the Arlington girl, she got it back unscathed.

As UniversalHub points out, in 2010, fate also plucked at the strings of a Berklee College of Music professor’s heart when she accidentally walked away from an heirloom violin after riding the 71 bus in Watertown. She too, was reunited with her musical instrument, after MBTA officials located it on the vehicle.